This is probably THE most important topic that any people interested in hiring a photographer should know about. It is probably one of my most asked questions, too. There is such an easy solution and explanation for this, that I’m excited when a client asks me how many pictures they get, and it only takes me a couple of sentences.
I have heard this scenario so many times: photographers say their client wanted more pictures than they received and were mad because they thought they were cheated out of the other pictures they heard being taken.
First and foremost, Crystal Clear Pics (and I’m sure any other professional photographer that values their clients’ happiness) will always make 100% sure that when you come to us with needs, not only do we meet them, but surpass them to the best of our abilities. The reason this issue NEVER happens with me is because I place value on excellent communication. I explain EVERYTHING up front that the client will expect before, during, and after their session. They realize that the amount of pictures they receive are the final result the best images of the process I have taken so much time to work through.
In my business model for Crystal Clear Pics, I will never tell you your session costs X amount to find out you just have to pay more to even get your pictures. I have a problem with other companies who do this as I find it an unfair way to trap their client into spending more money. This is 100% the wrong thing to do, in my opinion and will hinder that company from forming long lasting bonds with people.
Without talking with the client about all the needs and expectations of the photographer and client on the table, it’s normal for people to expect to receive every single picture they hear the photographer take, and more! This is what I explain to everyone before they book:
I am Tiffany, owner of Crystal Clear Pics. While I am photographing you, your baby, your family, or your subject, I am engaged in a process called “working the shot.” This involves taking numerous photos at different settings, different apertures/shutter speeds, different focal lengths, and exposures. If there are people in the shot, I aim to make sure that I at least have one image with everyone’s eyes open alertly. If I am photographing a model, we all know that not every angle works. I’m doing my best to photograph the scene I have set to make sure I do not miss any opportunity. If I take 5-10 different shots of one scene, idea, or angle, I will use all of the knowledge and better judgement that comes with years of experience to choose the best one from that scene or idea. I imagine myself as the client choosing their favorite image. It’s often very obvious to me which picture is the winner, and I will often use pieces the “bad” images to make one final composite. My purpose in writing this long winded article is I have always wished that even if my clients don’t understand exactly what it is that I do back at the computer, they realize it can be a very long and tedious process.
Behind the Scenes:
This is where more magic happens. The images straight out of card (SOOC) are RAW files. They are immediately converted to usable TIFFs or DNGs once they are uploaded, therefor you will not receive the RAW. We also don’t give away files. The largest, printable version of the FINAL images are available for purchase. After I upload all the images to my external hard drive, I go through a process called “culling”. This means eliminating the completely unusable shots that were maybe over or underexposed, images with people blinking, bad angles, etc. You heard those pictures were snapped, however you need to trust your professional photographer that you do not need to waste your time going through those. That is what you have paid me for. The next step for me is choosing the best photos of the images that are left. Of those, I star the only usable or best shots. Let’s say on average, I can take 50 images in your session. I am doing my best, in camera, to make sure the images are quality. There will be unusable images that are not discarded but not starred for later use. Now I am down to around 35-40. I may have many different scenes, ideas, 2-3 outfit changes, in your session, etc. If I took 5 angles of each scene you have finally arrived at the 20-30 final images that I will put the finishing touches on like color correction, sharpening, retouching, and any other artistic liberties that the image has inspired me to make.
IMPORTANT: The the exact or average number of images you should expect to receive will clearly be explain to you before you make any payments. This way there is no confusion. When you hire me for a session, you are not paying per picture. Though you receive pictures, what you are ultimately paying for is my experience, education, skills, images taken with the highest quality professional equipment, professional editing software and techniques, one on one consultations and communication with me via the phone/email/text, my time and talent…
If you ABSOLUTELY insist that you want EVERY single image snapped, regardless of whether I deem it usable or not, depending on the subject, I still may not be able to sell these to you. The reason why can be explained with this analogy: When you bake a cake, sprinkles will get spilled, scrap dough remains on the pan, etc. You don’t eat these or present these parts to your family and friends when you give them the cake. These sprinkles and left over dough are the images that were a part of the process of achieving the outstanding final images. A great chef shouldn’t have to show his scraps to the public.
What do I get?
You will receive closest to the number of images you were promised, if not more.
If it is included in your package, your images will be professionally edited once over unless you have purchased a more rigorous edit such as skin retouching, color enhancing, and any of the advanced abilities I can offer with Photoshop.
ALL images you receive that will be used for social media will have my watermark on them. I will not splash it across the entire image, but it will be faint and visible. This may not be altered or removed.
What should I not expect to get?
RAW files. (For a number of reasons you will not need or be able to use these files. A RAW file is simply what comes straight out of the camera and must be converted into a more user-friendly file first.
All the images, for the reasons discussed above in either JPG or PNG format.
You cannot keep the props used in your shoot but may purchase any you like that I have bought.